Naked Science Forum

General Science => General Science => Topic started by: profound on 31/07/2017 18:24:45

Title: Why are builders using small bricks?
Post by: profound on 31/07/2017 18:24:45
I was walking along when i noticed a house it was made of small bricks.

Length was of my hand and the thickness of my clenched fist.

This seems to very stupid and moronic by the house builders.

Small bricks means more bricks and more time to lay those bricks.

More mortar being used.

Also small bricks crumble easily and have less load bearing strength.

More man hours needed to lay the small bricks.

Increases the cost of the house due to more man hours required.

Small bricks suffer spalling a lot more.

Also more mortar being used introduces weakness in the walls.

In others words increases costs and introduces deliberate weakness in the walls to endanger the safety of the occupants.

I mean a strong gust of wind could easily topple a wall made of small bricks.

Large bricks are stronger,more readily laid,less mortar,more quickly laid.

less crumbly,more stable,less prone to flaking.

So do you know why this really very dangerous practice is being allowed?
Title: Re: Why are builders using small bricks?
Post by: evan_au on 31/07/2017 19:20:58
The Romans used small bricks (by our standards); the Pantheon is still standing, and the Colosseum is still mostly standing (it was cannibalised for building materials).
See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_brick
Title: Re: Why are builders using small bricks?
Post by: Bored chemist on 31/07/2017 19:23:15
Some of those points, for example
"small bricks crumble easily and have less load bearing strength."
and
"I mean a strong gust of wind could easily topple a wall made of small bricks."
 are simply wrong.

The reason they use "small" bricks is because big bricks are too heavy to handle and  align properly.
Title: Re: Why are builders using small bricks?
Post by: profound on 31/07/2017 20:43:06
The Romans used small bricks (by our standards); the Pantheon is still standing, and the Colosseum is still mostly standing (it was cannibalised for building materials).
See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_brick

Those bricks are LONG at least 3 times long and are WIDER too so your answer is invalid.
Title: Re: Why are builders using small bricks?
Post by: profound on 31/07/2017 20:44:40
Some of those points, for example
"small bricks crumble easily and have less load bearing strength."
and
"I mean a strong gust of wind could easily topple a wall made of small bricks."
 are simply wrong.

The reason they use "small" bricks is because big bricks are too heavy to handle and  align properly.

you are wrong that bigger bricks are hard to align.They easier to align.

you want proof?

go to the to the beach and align me 1000 grains of sand in a hour.
Title: Re: Why are builders using small bricks?
Post by: chiralSPO on 31/07/2017 20:51:07
Some of those points, for example
"small bricks crumble easily and have less load bearing strength."
and
"I mean a strong gust of wind could easily topple a wall made of small bricks."
 are simply wrong.

The reason they use "small" bricks is because big bricks are too heavy to handle and  align properly.

you are wrong that bigger bricks are hard to align.They easier to align.

you want proof?

go to the to the beach and align me 1000 grains of sand in a hour.

That's not a good analogy. Not even close. Sand is irregular, and can never be aligned.
I can align 1000 lego bricks in about 5 minutes.
Title: Re: Why are builders using small bricks?
Post by: Bored chemist on 31/07/2017 20:58:35
Some of those points, for example
"small bricks crumble easily and have less load bearing strength."
and
"I mean a strong gust of wind could easily topple a wall made of small bricks."
 are simply wrong.

The reason they use "small" bricks is because big bricks are too heavy to handle and  align properly.

you are wrong that bigger bricks are hard to align.They easier to align.

you want proof?

go to the to the beach and align me 1000 grains of sand in a hour.
You might want to try not being so silly.

I remind you that you have recently started threads which say
"Black people who invent things are not black",
"NASA doesn't know what equipment to send into space" and
"Bricklayers don't understand bricklaying".
All of those are clearly stupid ideas and just make you look like a fool, or a troll (maybe both)
Title: Re: Why are builders using small bricks?
Post by: profound on 31/07/2017 21:32:21
Some of those points, for example
"small bricks crumble easily and have less load bearing strength."
and
"I mean a strong gust of wind could easily topple a wall made of small bricks."
 are simply wrong.

The reason they use "small" bricks is because big bricks are too heavy to handle and  align properly.

you are wrong that bigger bricks are hard to align.They easier to align.

you want proof?

go to the to the beach and align me 1000 grains of sand in a hour.
You might want to try not being so silly.

I remind you that you have recently started threads which say
"Black people who invent things are not black",
"NASA doesn't know what equipment to send into space" and
"Bricklayers don't understand bricklaying".
All of those are clearly stupid ideas and just make you look like a fool, or a troll (maybe both)

All ideas are stupid until they become mainstream.As vindicated by the history of science which you are unaware of.

Do you have a life outside this forum?

Wherever I go there you are.
Title: Re: Why are builders using small bricks?
Post by: Bored chemist on 31/07/2017 22:02:19


All ideas are stupid until they become mainstream.As vindicated by the history of science which you are unaware of.

Do you have a life outside this forum?

Wherever I go there you are.
No. Some ideas are just stupid.
Square wheels, photochromic light bulbs and bricks that are too big or heavy to handle are examples of this.

I'm quite well acquainted with the history of science. More importantly, I'm quite well acquainted with reality- which seems to put me one up on you.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3489781/

I do have a life outside the forum, A full time job among other things. But it seems I have to keep turning up, if only to correct daft posts like yours.

If  you want  to see less of me here- simply stop posting nonsense.
;-)
Title: Re: Why are builders using small bricks?
Post by: profound on 31/07/2017 22:08:10


All ideas are stupid until they become mainstream.As vindicated by the history of science which you are unaware of.

Do you have a life outside this forum?

Wherever I go there you are.
No. Some ideas are just stupid.
Square wheels, photochromic light bulbs and bricks that are too big or heavy to handle are examples of this.

I'm quite well acquainted with the history of science. More importantly, I'm quite well acquainted with reality- which seems to put me one up on you.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3489781/

I do have a life outside the forum, A full time job among other things. But it seems I have to keep turning up, if only to correct daft posts like yours.

If  you want  to see less of me here- simply stop posting nonsense.
;-)

i dont want to see less of you.i want to see more of you.

you above listed ideas are

tenement blocks all have large bricks and were built many decades ago and still standing.so your objection is invalid.
Title: Re: Why are builders using small bricks?
Post by: Kryptid on 01/08/2017 15:24:46
you are wrong that bigger bricks are hard to align.They easier to align.

you want proof?

go to the to the beach and align me 1000 grains of sand in a hour.

A generalized statement like "bigger bricks are better" or "smaller bricks are better" is too simplistic. There is an optimum size range that humans are best suited to using. Sand grain-sized bricks are obviously very difficult for a person to work with, but so are refrigerator-sized bricks.

When it comes to considering the "best" size for a brick, the answer isn't straightforward. The brick size that leads to the fastest construction time isn't necessarily the same as the brick size that leads to the strongest walls, the least use of mortar or the lowest cost. Larger is better to some extent when it comes to speed, but when the bricks become too large for a single human to lift, the speed goes down because equipment and/or teamwork becomes necessary to load a single brick. For a crew that is being paid by the hour, faster is cheaper. Cheaper, of course, isn't always better. There is probably some equation or experiment that can be done to determine the best compromise, but I'm not sure what it is. My personal best guess is that the largest brick size that an average worker can lift with a single hand is a good compromise.
Title: Re: Why are builders using small bricks?
Post by: alancalverd on 01/08/2017 21:29:33
The only aspect of this question that merits the words "stupid and moronic" is the idea that you will get a better answer from a science chat room than you would by asking the builders. Incidentally it is not a good idea to call a builder stupid and moronic: bricklayers in particular are very strong.
Title: Re: Why are builders using small bricks?
Post by: Bored chemist on 01/08/2017 21:54:33
The only aspect of this question that merits the words "stupid and moronic" is the idea that you will get a better answer from a science chat room ...
And that's just what the OP did.

Title: Re: Why are builders using small bricks?
Post by: Bored chemist on 01/08/2017 21:56:51
tenement blocks all have large bricks and were built many decades ago and still standing.so your objection is invalid.
None of my objections in any way implies that an old building shouldn't still be standing.
Why did you think I had implied that?
Did you forget to read what I wrote?
Title: Re: Why are builders using small bricks?
Post by: evan_au on 02/08/2017 11:07:32
Consider something which is less standardized today: Tiles.
- You can get big tiles
- You can get small tiles
- Both are used widely

There are aesthetic effects you can achieve with small tiles that you can't easily achieve with big tiles.
You can probably cover an area more quickly with big tiles - which is why some small tiles come on flexible sheets that you can lay like a big tile.
Title: Re: Why are builders using small bricks?
Post by: profound on 04/08/2017 22:06:44
you are wrong that bigger bricks are hard to align.They easier to align.

you want proof?

go to the to the beach and align me 1000 grains of sand in a hour.

A generalized statement like "bigger bricks are better" or "smaller bricks are better" is too simplistic. There is an optimum size range that humans are best suited to using. Sand grain-sized bricks are obviously very difficult for a person to work with, but so are refrigerator-sized bricks.

When it comes to considering the "best" size for a brick, the answer isn't straightforward. The brick size that leads to the fastest construction time isn't necessarily the same as the brick size that leads to the strongest walls, the least use of mortar or the lowest cost. Larger is better to some extent when it comes to speed, but when the bricks become too large for a single human to lift, the speed goes down because equipment and/or teamwork becomes necessary to load a single brick. For a crew that is being paid by the hour, faster is cheaper. Cheaper, of course, isn't always better. There is probably some equation or experiment that can be done to determine the best compromise, but I'm not sure what it is. My personal best guess is that the largest brick size that an average worker can lift with a single hand is a good compromise.

i can lift a brick with a single hand 6 inch by 4 inch by 5 inch easily.bricks are not very heavy.
also it is absurd to state that you need to lift a brick.

you simply slide the brick from a suitable tray into the appropriate position.

keyword SLIDE.

small bricks suffer from spalling which makes them weaker.

This you might not understand.i will spell it out for you.
suppose you cut 1 inch of an elephant will be unharmed.
you cut 1 inch of a hamster it will be fatal.
Title: Re: Why are builders using small bricks?
Post by: Kryptid on 05/08/2017 20:29:43
i can lift a brick with a single hand 6 inch by 4 inch by 5 inch easily.bricks are not very heavy.
also it is absurd to state that you need to lift a brick.

you simply slide the brick from a suitable tray into the appropriate position.

keyword SLIDE.

small bricks suffer from spalling which makes them weaker.

This you might not understand.i will spell it out for you.
suppose you cut 1 inch of an elephant will be unharmed.
you cut 1 inch of a hamster it will be fatal.

Sliding sounds like it would come with its own complications. You now need more equipment than before in order to lift the bricks to a suitable height. A heavy brick wouldn't exactly be low friction either, so using such a system sounds like it would be slower than the conventional method. Accidentally dropping bricks on the ground would be a problem too, since now they are so heavy that only a machine (or several people working together) can lift even one of them. If you are suggesting making bricks as many times larger as elephants are than hamsters, these problems become greatly magnified.
Title: Re: Why are builders using small bricks?
Post by: Bored chemist on 05/08/2017 21:42:19
can lift a brick with a single hand 6 inch by 4 inch by 5 inch easily.bricks are not very heavy.
also it is absurd to state that you need to lift a brick.

you simply slide the brick from a suitable tray into the appropriate position.

keyword SLIDE.
No
What is absurd is  to suggest that  there is alsways a convenient flat smooth surface for you to slide a brick from.

It's also absurd that you think that you know more about it then the bricklayers.
Title: Re: Why are builders using small bricks?
Post by: SeanB on 06/08/2017 05:04:36
A smaller brick is a brick that is cheaper to manufacture, as you have to fire it for a shorter time to vitrify the clay all the way through ( or at least deep enough into the clay to be usable), as well as having a better packing in the kiln used to fire them, along with less wasted brick after firing. Larger bricks require a much longer fire, as you have a fixed temperature in the kiln, and the brick is slow to vitrify, this is a fixed rate that it progresses into the surface, and the smaller brick has a larger surface to volume ratio.

As bricks tend ( at least these days ) to be delivered palletised, as opposed to the old way of bulk bricks being delivered in a tipper truck, they are fired shorter time, and are thus weaker, which is actually an advantage as there is built in crack stopping and expansion in the brick failing before the mortar joins, stopping any cracks from propagating all the way through the wall.

Century old bricks were fired almost to be fully glass, so they would survive handling, but they then are both very likely to be somewhat distorted, and also the mortar join will be the weak spot. Hard fired brick does have a use as high strength wall, but in a regular house this is not needed with the building code being designed around a massive safety factor on the much weaker brick allowed and the lowest allowed mortar strength. The standard double wall construction method with brick is much stronger than any load the house will ever experience.

Now, if you are building with hollow concrete block you have a much weaker wall, simply due to the block itself being a very weak item, and with not much surface area to act as a mortar joint between them as well, meaning that wall had a much lower load rating despite being a much larger block.
Title: Re: Why are builders using small bricks?
Post by: profound on 09/08/2017 22:20:54
A smaller brick is a brick that is cheaper to manufacture, as you have to fire it for a shorter time to vitrify the clay all the way through ( or at least deep enough into the clay to be usable), as well as having a better packing in the kiln used to fire them, along with less wasted brick after firing. Larger bricks require a much longer fire, as you have a fixed temperature in the kiln, and the brick is slow to vitrify, this is a fixed rate that it progresses into the surface, and the smaller brick has a larger surface to volume ratio.

As bricks tend ( at least these days ) to be delivered palletised, as opposed to the old way of bulk bricks being delivered in a tipper truck, they are fired shorter time, and are thus weaker, which is actually an advantage as there is built in crack stopping and expansion in the brick failing before the mortar joins, stopping any cracks from propagating all the way through the wall.

Century old bricks were fired almost to be fully glass, so they would survive handling, but they then are both very likely to be somewhat distorted, and also the mortar join will be the weak spot. Hard fired brick does have a use as high strength wall, but in a regular house this is not needed with the building code being designed around a massive safety factor on the much weaker brick allowed and the lowest allowed mortar strength. The standard double wall construction method with brick is much stronger than any load the house will ever experience.

Now, if you are building with hollow concrete block you have a much weaker wall, simply due to the block itself being a very weak item, and with not much surface area to act as a mortar joint between them as well, meaning that wall had a much lower load rating despite being a much larger block.

A school girl was killed in a school according to the news by a small brick wall just because a gust of wind blew it over.large bricks are robust and have a MORE INERTIA for side forces.for example if you have a chain link fence and try to spray paint it you will be disappointed because the density of it is low.
Title: Re: Why are builders using small bricks?
Post by: Kryptid on 10/08/2017 00:10:37
A school girl was killed in a school according to the news by a small brick wall just because a gust of wind blew it over.large bricks are robust and have a MORE INERTIA for side forces.for example if you have a chain link fence and try to spray paint it you will be disappointed because the density of it is low.

It sounds to me like either (1) the wall you speak of was not well-constructed to begin with or (2) the wall was old and damaged and should have been torn down and replaced before it fell. Mere "gusts of wind" don't take down well-built, undamaged brick walls.
Title: Re: Why are builders using small bricks?
Post by: Bored chemist on 10/08/2017 20:26:02
This you might not understand.i will spell it out for you.
suppose you cut 1 inch of an elephant will be unharmed.
you cut 1 inch of a hamster it will be fatal.
OK, Thanks for proving my point.
(virtually) Nobody builds with bricks because they are interested in bricks- they want a wall or whatever.

Failure of 1 small brick, in a given sized wall will make less difference than failure of a big brick- it's a matter of scale just like your 1 inch holes in animals.
Title: Re: Why are builders using small bricks?
Post by: Bored chemist on 10/08/2017 20:41:57
A school girl was killed in a school according to the news by a small brick wall just because a gust of wind blew it over.large bricks are robust and have a MORE INERTIA for side forces.for example if you have a chain link fence and try to spray paint it you will be disappointed because the density of it is low.
Well, to re use your daft analogy, you should make walls from grains of sand. A falling grain of sand won't kill anyone- but a falling breeze-block would.
Title: Re: Why are builders using small bricks?
Post by: profound on 10/08/2017 21:39:03
A school girl was killed in a school according to the news by a small brick wall just because a gust of wind blew it over.large bricks are robust and have a MORE INERTIA for side forces.for example if you have a chain link fence and try to spray paint it you will be disappointed because the density of it is low.
Well, to re use your daft analogy, you should make walls from grains of sand. A falling grain of sand won't kill anyone- but a falling breeze-block would.

As i said grains of sand have very little inertia and are difficult to mortar.large bricks are the best.
Title: Re: Why are builders using small bricks?
Post by: profound on 10/08/2017 21:42:38
i can lift a brick with a single hand 6 inch by 4 inch by 5 inch easily.bricks are not very heavy.
also it is absurd to state that you need to lift a brick.

you simply slide the brick from a suitable tray into the appropriate position.

keyword SLIDE.

small bricks suffer from spalling which makes them weaker.

This you might not understand.i will spell it out for you.
suppose you cut 1 inch of an elephant will be unharmed.
you cut 1 inch of a hamster it will be fatal.

Sliding sounds like it would come with its own complications. You now need more equipment than before in order to lift the bricks to a suitable height. A heavy brick wouldn't exactly be low friction either, so using such a system sounds like it would be slower than the conventional method. Accidentally dropping bricks on the ground would be a problem too, since now they are so heavy that only a machine (or several people working together) can lift even one of them. If you are suggesting making bricks as many times larger as elephants are than hamsters, these problems become greatly magnified.

I am afraid you are rather limited in your thinking and suffer from failure to integrate knowledge.

how did the ancients manage to build castles and vast palaces and monuments and big buildings out of large marble/granite blocks? all without the benefit of this expensive machinery of which you talk of.

You need to think and not join the herd in trying to beat me up.
Title: Re: Why are builders using small bricks?
Post by: chiralSPO on 10/08/2017 22:27:43
how did the ancients manage to build castles and vast palaces and monuments and big buildings out of large marble/granite blocks? all without the benefit of this expensive machinery of which you talk of.

According to this analysis it took about 30,000 man•years to build a castle in the 13th century... http://history.howstuffworks.com/historical-figures/castle5.htm That sounds somewhat less efficient than construction today. Granted, we have plenty of technologies that dramatically improve the output per man•hour.
Title: Re: Why are builders using small bricks?
Post by: Kryptid on 11/08/2017 05:42:35
I am afraid you are rather limited in your thinking and suffer from failure to integrate knowledge.

Tell that to the people who do this for a living.

Quote
how did the ancients manage to build castles and vast palaces and monuments and big buildings out of large marble/granite blocks? all without the benefit of this expensive machinery of which you talk of.

I never said that it couldn't be done, but rather that it has problems that modern techniques do not. Speed is a big one. Do you think that the people who built the Great Pyramid of Giza were getting more accomplished, in terms of mass moved per man-hour, than modern construction crews?

Quote
You need to think and not join the herd in trying to beat me up.

I'm using common sense. If experts on this topic thought that larger bricks were better, then no doubt they would use them already. It's not like brick-laying is a new technology that is still in the teething stages. The in-and-outs should be very well understood by now given that it's been done for centuries.
Title: Re: Why are builders using small bricks?
Post by: profound on 11/08/2017 12:32:40
i can lift a brick with a single hand 6 inch by 4 inch by 5 inch easily.bricks are not very heavy.
also it is absurd to state that you need to lift a brick.

you simply slide the brick from a suitable tray into the appropriate position.

keyword SLIDE.

small bricks suffer from spalling which makes them weaker.

This you might not understand.i will spell it out for you.
suppose you cut 1 inch of an elephant will be unharmed.
you cut 1 inch of a hamster it will be fatal.

Sliding sounds like it would come with its own complications. You now need more equipment than before in order to lift the bricks to a suitable height. A heavy brick wouldn't exactly be low friction either, so using such a system sounds like it would be slower than the conventional method. Accidentally dropping bricks on the ground would be a problem too, since now they are so heavy that only a machine (or several people working together) can lift even one of them. If you are suggesting making bricks as many times larger as elephants are than hamsters, these problems become greatly magnified.

I am afraid you are rather limited in your thinking and suffer from failure to integrate knowledge.

how did the ancients manage to build castles and vast palaces and monuments and big buildings out of large marble/granite blocks? all without the benefit of this expensive machinery of which you talk of.

You need to think and not join the herd in trying to beat me up.

What expensive machinery?

ramps are not that expensive and are used routinely for centuries including today.

I lifted a brick today and found it was not heavy at all.it was about 6 inches by 5 inches by 4 inches.

bricklayers are hardly towering intellectuals and simply do what the boss tells them with the bricks provided.
Title: Re: Why are builders using small bricks?
Post by: chiralSPO on 11/08/2017 15:23:07
I lifted a brick today and found it was not heavy at all.it was about 6 inches by 5 inches by 4 inches.

I think this sentence says it all.

You realize the problem with heavy bricks is not that an individual brick is too heavy to maneuver, but the cumulative effort of moving heavier bricks, right?

I will use the analogy of a staircase. When climbing up a single step the difference between a large one and a small one is negligible. But once you have to climb up a 900-foot tower, if there is one staircase with 1600 steps, and a steep one with 600 steps, I think most people would find that the staircase with more numerous and smaller steps is easier. Of course, there will be a sweet spot, and once stairs are too small, they become less useful (not many would opt for the path with 50,000 steps).

As Kryptid pointed out, it's quite likely that bricklayers have figured out what that sweet spot is for bricks, and it's quite likely that that's what they use.
Title: Re: Why are builders using small bricks?
Post by: Bored chemist on 11/08/2017 18:26:14
A school girl was killed in a school according to the news by a small brick wall just because a gust of wind blew it over.large bricks are robust and have a MORE INERTIA for side forces.for example if you have a chain link fence and try to spray paint it you will be disappointed because the density of it is low.
Well, to re use your daft analogy, you should make walls from grains of sand. A falling grain of sand won't kill anyone- but a falling breeze-block would.

As i said grains of sand have very little inertia and are difficult to mortar.large bricks are the best.

But you were saying that bricks fall and hurt people; so surely small bricks are better.
However this post of yours really gives that game away that you have no clue what you are talking about.

The "cement" between the bricks- big or small- is made from countless sand grains stuck together in mortar.
You have lost every single point you have tried to make here; why not accept that you were simply wrong and the experts (i.e. the brickies) are right?

Title: Re: Why are builders using small bricks?
Post by: profound on 11/08/2017 21:44:10
A school girl was killed in a school according to the news by a small brick wall just because a gust of wind blew it over.large bricks are robust and have a MORE INERTIA for side forces.for example if you have a chain link fence and try to spray paint it you will be disappointed because the density of it is low.
Well, to re use your daft analogy, you should make walls from grains of sand. A falling grain of sand won't kill anyone- but a falling breeze-block would.

As i said grains of sand have very little inertia and are difficult to mortar.large bricks are the best.

But you were saying that bricks fall and hurt people; so surely small bricks are better.
However this post of yours really gives that game away that you have no clue what you are talking about.

The "cement" between the bricks- big or small- is made from countless sand grains stuck together in mortar.
You have lost every single point you have tried to make here; why not accept that you were simply wrong and the experts (i.e. the brickies) are right?

I never said grains of sand should be used.also the brick i picked up was used most of the previous century and only recently the smaller sizes used for LOOKS.Just like the Grenfell cladding.
Title: Re: Why are builders using small bricks?
Post by: Bored chemist on 11/08/2017 23:59:01
A school girl was killed in a school according to the news by a small brick wall just because a gust of wind blew it over.large bricks are robust and have a MORE INERTIA for side forces.for example if you have a chain link fence and try to spray paint it you will be disappointed because the density of it is low.
Well, to re use your daft analogy, you should make walls from grains of sand. A falling grain of sand won't kill anyone- but a falling breeze-block would.

As i said grains of sand have very little inertia and are difficult to mortar.large bricks are the best.

But you were saying that bricks fall and hurt people; so surely small bricks are better.
However this post of yours really gives that game away that you have no clue what you are talking about.

The "cement" between the bricks- big or small- is made from countless sand grains stuck together in mortar.
You have lost every single point you have tried to make here; why not accept that you were simply wrong and the experts (i.e. the brickies) are right?

I never said grains of sand should be used.also the brick i picked up was used most of the previous century and only recently the smaller sizes used for LOOKS.Just like the Grenfell cladding.
No, what you said was that the bricks are known to fall sometimes. You pointed out a case where this happened.
If that happens (and it will) then it's better that they are small- so they cause less damage.

This "and only recently the smaller sizes used" is certainly wrong. Smaller bricks ere used long ago.
The interesting question is why are you saying it?
You were already told it was wrong when someone posted that "The Romans used small bricks (by our standards); ".

Did you not understand that, or were you hoping that nobody would notice when you posted something which was wrong, and you had been told  was wrong?
To be blunt; are you a fool, or a liar?


Title: Re: Why are builders using small bricks?
Post by: Kryptid on 12/08/2017 19:50:08
What expensive machinery?

ramps are not that expensive and are used routinely for centuries including today.

I lifted a brick today and found it was not heavy at all.it was about 6 inches by 5 inches by 4 inches.

bricklayers are hardly towering intellectuals and simply do what the boss tells them with the bricks provided.

Was this aimed at me? I can't really tell, as I never said anything about expensive machinery. Bricklayers don't have to be towering intellectuals in order to know through experience what works and what doesn't. The people who actually make the bricks come into consideration as well. I'm also curious why you didn't address some of the finer points of SeanB's post (small bricks being cheaper to make, faster and easier to bake, stopping cracks from spreading, etc.), which represent some of the best arguments in this thread so far, in my opinion.
Title: Re: Why are builders using small bricks?
Post by: Bored chemist on 12/08/2017 19:53:33
What expensive machinery?

ramps are not that expensive and are used routinely for centuries including today.

I lifted a brick today and found it was not heavy at all.it was about 6 inches by 5 inches by 4 inches.

bricklayers are hardly towering intellectuals and simply do what the boss tells them with the bricks provided.

Was this aimed at me? I can't really tell, as I never said anything about expensive machinery. Bricklayers don't have to be towering intellectuals in order to know through experience what works and what doesn't. The people who actually make the bricks come into consideration as well. I'm also curious why you didn't address some of the finer points of SeanB's post (small bricks being cheaper to make, faster and easier to bake, stopping cracks from spreading, etc.), which represent some of the best arguments in this thread so far, in my opinion.
To be fair, he also failed to address everyone else's points properly.
Title: Re: Why are builders using small bricks?
Post by: SeanB on 12/08/2017 20:16:55
Bricks are very individualistic of the supplier, mostly being either defined these days by a standard of some sort, as is the thing here in South africa, and generally the individual brick manufacturers ( here there is the major supplier, Corobrick, successor to the old Coronation Brick works, and another, Ideal Brick) make brick styles that are similar enough to work together in construction, or at least so that you can work one size to another with little effort. The actual size is more dictated by conventions, local builders likings and history ( a century old Coronation brick is remarkably similar in size to a Corobrick one, probably due in a lot of cases to still being made on the same machinery as well, and with the same presses and kiln designs as well) of the sizes they were comfortable with.

The actual size within limits is not too much of a concern, larger bricks and smaller bricks roughly use the same volumes of mortar, as most is in the lines of joins, and the vertical lines tend to even out the volume in the typical house build, as the larger bricks will probably have a thicker mortar line. Most of the cement in a house is used as plaster to make the walls smooth in any case, not in the actual courses, and in the foundations as well. Size is more with how many you can carry at a time, the smaller bricks more, the larger fewer, but the actual laid wall area will be the same per load, and the laying speed similar for both, though a smaller brick is faster to move as it needs less muscle strength to get it in position.

Bricks are always going to be picked up by hand multiple times during laying, so a lighter brick will mean less effort, even if it means more movements. All evens out with enough time and wall area in many cases. Smaller bricks allow more courses of wire reinforcement in a wall though, so it actually is safer and stronger, plus you get finer control of heights, as in most cases the penetrations in a wall, like door frames and window units, are designed for a particular brick spacing so they occupy whole numbers of bricks and you can easily place them during wall raising as you reach the lower parts, and then use half bricks every second row to get the overlap required in the construction, or in a double wall build get the tie between the separate wall units at the penetration you need, instead of having to use either wire ties or separate brick ties.

Even amongst different brick styles there are differences in most dimensions, but they tend to be within a range that is enough to use different families to build up a wall that will be plastered later, or to do things like move windows or doors at a later stage during renovation. you just end up with some thick mortar lines in places to get the fill.
Title: Re: Why are builders using small bricks?
Post by: profound on 13/08/2017 10:52:35
What expensive machinery?

ramps are not that expensive and are used routinely for centuries including today.

I lifted a brick today and found it was not heavy at all.it was about 6 inches by 5 inches by 4 inches.

bricklayers are hardly towering intellectuals and simply do what the boss tells them with the bricks provided.

Was this aimed at me? I can't really tell, as I never said anything about expensive machinery. Bricklayers don't have to be towering intellectuals in order to know through experience what works and what doesn't. The people who actually make the bricks come into consideration as well. I'm also curious why you didn't address some of the finer points of SeanB's post (small bricks being cheaper to make, faster and easier to bake, stopping cracks from spreading, etc.), which represent some of the best arguments in this thread so far, in my opinion.
To be fair, he also failed to address everyone else's points properly.

Cheaper to make.no.in that case they would make them the size of smarties.do they ? no.
the energy required is similar.otherwise the makers would be using the lowest energy option to maximize profit.

faster to make no.really? they would churn them fast out like smarties.do they ? no.

cracks spreading no.larger bricks are more resistant to cracks.

why has mount Everest not developed a crack and split into 2 parts?
Title: Re: Why are builders using small bricks?
Post by: Bored chemist on 13/08/2017 12:36:09

Cheaper to make.no.in that case they would make them the size of smarties.do they ? no.
the energy required is similar.otherwise the makers would be using the lowest energy option to maximize profit.

faster to make no.really? they would churn them fast out like smarties.do they ? no.

cracks spreading no.larger bricks are more resistant to cracks.

why has mount Everest not developed a crack and split into 2 parts?

Are   you a complete idiot?
The reason I ask is that most of those points have already been answered by ChiralSPO.
Did you  not understand his post about there being a a "sweet spot"  between too big and to small and that the brickies are more likely to know what that is than you are?


There's only 1 question which wasn't already answered
"why has mount Everest not developed a crack and split into 2 parts?"
Essentially the whole of a mountain is in compression- so there's no force  acting on it in such a way as to cause it to split.

Why did you think it was relevant?
Title: Re: Why are builders using small bricks?
Post by: alancalverd on 13/08/2017 16:19:40
For those with genuine curiosity, http://www.jaharrison.me.uk/Brickwork/Sizes.html is informative:

Quote
Several things influenced the size of bricks. They mustn't be too big, or they will be too heavy and awkward to pick up with one hand, while applying mortar with a trowel held in the other. They mustn't be too small, or a wall will need more of them, and more mortar, and more time to lay it.

Wilkes GobsIn modern times most bricks in UK are made to a standard size of 65x102.5x215mm, and laid with nominal 10mm mortar joints, but in former times the size varied quite a lot.
Some early medieval bricks were as big as 13"x6"x2". Late 15th century bricks were mostly about 9½"x4½"x2". A charter in 1571 specified 9"x4½"x2¼", and in the 18th century, Parliament specified 8½"x4"x2½", which is equivalent to the modern metric brick of 215mm x 102.5mm x 65mm.

What upset the apple cart was a brick tax imposed by the government in 1784. The tax was paid per brick, so brick makers responded by making much larger bricks, which meant fewer were needed for a given size wall. An extreme case was Joseph Wilkes  of Measham, who produced bricks double the normal size (110x110x235mm) known locally as 'Jumbies' or Wilkes's Gobbs'', see right. The government later set an upper limit of 150 cubic inches (10"x5"x3") for a 'brick, which was still much larger than bricks had been before the tax.

The tax was repealed in 1850, but by this time, many brick makers, especially in the Midlands and North, had moved from hand-made to machine-made bricks. Having invested heavily in machinery it wasn't easy for them to revert to the smaller sizes, which meant that big bricks persisted for a long time afterwards. As a result you are likely to find bigger bricks as you move farther north, in buildings built before the introduction of standard modern bricks.


Domestic and high-street buldings are subject to local planning requirements which can specify the size, color and even the texture of facing bricks to preserve some kind of aesthetic appearance, but we use much larger blocks of lightweight concrete for the inner leaf nowadays, and the block size used for some industrial buildings is limited by the "two man lift" requirement. I use large, high density ilemnite two-man bricks for linear accelerator bunkers and suchlike, to save space and minimise the number of joints (which compromise radiation attenuation if you're not very careful). Bricklaying machines do exist and are OK for boundary walls or factory facings, but they aren't much use in a confined space.       
Title: Re: Why are builders using small bricks?
Post by: Kryptid on 13/08/2017 17:46:33
Cheaper to make.no.in that case they would make them the size of smarties.do they ? no.
the energy required is similar.otherwise the makers would be using the lowest energy option to maximize profit.

faster to make no.really? they would churn them fast out like smarties.do they ? no.

cracks spreading no.larger bricks are more resistant to cracks.

why has mount Everest not developed a crack and split into 2 parts?

It would take much, much longer to build a wall out of Smartie-sized bricks than of normal-sized bricks.

Mount Everest is not even remotely proportioned like a typical brick wall.
Title: Re: Why are builders using small bricks?
Post by: Bored chemist on 13/08/2017 20:25:08
I use large, high density ilemnite two-man bricks for linear accelerator bunkers and suchlike, to save space and minimise the number of joints
Interesting, is the ilmenite used to raise the density (and thus screening)?
Title: Re: Why are builders using small bricks?
Post by: alancalverd on 13/08/2017 21:06:15
Yes. It's cheaper than barium- or lead-loaded concrete, and slightly more efficient inm terms of mass attenuation at high energies.

Apropos  "smartie - sized bricks" we do of course use poured concrete, which is essentially little random bricks bound with mortar, but it generally looks awful and rots in the rain!   
Title: Re: Why are builders using small bricks?
Post by: chris on 15/08/2017 07:10:42
Fascinating thread; made me think about construction and materials in a way I'd not considered before. Thanks everyone!